Saturday, October 26, 2013

What a great dog

Ah I know you are all tired of these posts, but I can't help it.
We are at the beach, Bugsy & I went straight to the sand after arriving and he was immediately charged by two male intact labs. They were off leash, he was on. What did he do? 
He stood there.
Basically his body language was 'so what'
I released him from the leash and he gave them a sniff and took off running in joy.

This morning a boxer that was on the adjacent balcony went after him very aggressively (wood bars between them) he just stood there, with a "dude you have issues" look. The boxer was carted away by its owner, Bugsy however went right back to the bars, tail wagging.

He made friends with an Aussie/chow mix that was fearful of large dogs.
And a teeny little guy that was all teeth when they met.
Then there the two JRT's he found irresistible, despite one of them being obsessed with humping his leg.

He thought the cleaning lady was the most fun human on earth and brought her various items.

And the baby wire-haired dachshund was clearly in need of a large leader/protector.

The Beast isn't easy on my shoulders but otherwise is a pleasure to travel with, the only noise he makes is crying to see other dogs or people.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

good news, bad news - an evaluation at the rehab vet

I finally was able to do something I wanted to do for ages, I took Bugsy in to a rehab vet for a FULL evaluation.
I can't lie, I didn't want to leave him there, we haven't always had good experiences but I promised myself and him that I would do ALL that I can to help him enjoy life the way HE enjoys life.
So after a day of worry and curiosity, I got the news.

Lets just say the consult started like this; "after all he's been through he is in amazing shape"
Its not that I didn't know, it just still breaks my heart. My poor boy has had more than his fair share of pain and problems. He doesn't know any different and likely has been in pain for most of his life.
Kind of hit me in the solar plexus. He does such a great job of being happy, ridiculously happy, it's hard to remember that his body has never held up to his spirit.
So anyway.
He was fabulous to work with apparently - one of the easiest and most fun to work with, to be exact.
If there is one constant with my boy it's 'fun'.
My favorite story she (Dr Jordan) told me was that she was doing strength testing with him and she had done three limbs, he then offered the fourth to her. Yup that's my boy, "oh I like this game, here you go"
She said she has been a vet for 25 yrs and a rehab vet for over 12 and has never had a dog offer the one limb that hadn't been checked. She said, "he's a special guy" Um I know, that's why I am here.

So in the end what is the bottom line? Well he won't be climbing mountains again.
Pretty much we are doing all we can - the swimming is great, keep walking him. We'll add a few exercises and likely if I can swing it, we'll do Adequan.
His hind legs have limited range of motion, due to years of living with crappy knees (although she was amazed that his TPLO knee was no worse than his healthy knee (which she said was still healthy)
In case you are wondering, it's all about the angles!
His right (non-repaired) elbow likely has significant osteoarthritis.
His spine is fabulous
His gait, pretty darn good (on a scale of 0-2 it was less than 1)
His lameness score was less than 1.5 on a scale of 3
His personality off the scale :)

So his body, has had a hard life and he is doing WAY better than he should be doing. It was nice to hear that all the effort I have put in is doing him good. So I guess I'll keep feeding the world's most expensive dog food and waking up at 4:45 to get his walks in.
I will confess that my heart broke when she said he cannot do serious trail hikes again. I felt sad when after knee repair they said no more bike runs. It seems unfair for such a happy, high energy dog.
However, my sadness is put into perspective because a very good friend's 6 yr old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last night.

I suppose each of us get the hand of cards we get. Dog, child or adult.
As a human, I suppose we don't get to know why we/they get the cards we do.
However, tonight, I am sad.
Sad for the 6 yr old and my friend and sad for Bugsy.
You know, I know that both of them are AOK with the hand they have been dealt.
And likely thankful for the life and family they have.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

How time changes things

I used to hear some very good friends talk about how they loved their 'old' dogs. I would acknowledge their heart and then say I loved crazy young'uns. And I do. 
However, I have  to tell you that the mature Bugsy is an AMAZING dog. He is still oodles of fun but he is so much more manageable. 
For instance, now at the lake he chases some birds but he gives up as opposed to the old days when he would damn near kill himself in the process of trying to catch them. I can let him chase knowing he won't drown or disappear. This is a good thing.
He is so settled AND reliant on his routine. He knows the way things happen and he works it, lol.
Perhaps the biggest thing, and specific to Bugsy, is that he allows you to love him. It's taken 8 yrs but I  can pet him on his bed without him getting up and leaving. 
There is a warmth and contendedness that was not present.
Our struggles are minimal, our pleasure is high. The bond is rewarding.
So if you have a young dog that is trying your patience, keep at it. In time you will reap the highest of rewards. I truly can't express how deep the connection is now with Bugsy, I can only share with you that what I experience now is worth everything I have had to put in.